Option 1: Outsource to another CP office
Get the main CP office to do the purchasing and send the items to you. (In remote locations you might have to do this anyway, because many things may not be available locally.)
Fill out the Purchase Requisition Forms (PRFs) in your office, then scan and send them to the main office. (Make sure to keep your copies of the PRFs in good, orderly files, organized by PRF number, so you will have them to refer to).
Option 2: Bring other Purchasing Staff to you on TDY
Get the main CP office or region to send you their purchasing staff on TDY. (Once they’ re there, these guys can also help with hiring staff locally.)
Option 3: Use the Staff you have Creatively
When you have to rely on the staff you have in place locally, try the following ways of organizing things:
When you Have No Staff Who can Do Purchasing Full Time
Split up purchasing tasks between multiple general staff in the following manner:
- Use one person (for example, a driver) to do the work with vendors as needed. This is work that is done mostly on the phone or outside the office.
- Use another person (for example, an admin assistant) to work inside the office with the requesters and paperwork: receive PRFs, make files, keep the PRF log, fill out POs, etc.
Generally these two sets of activities (extroverted work with vendors and introverted work with record keeping) are best assigned to different personality types anyway.
This set up will require someone in the senior management (like the team lead) to supervise them and make sure they are communicating properly with each other and other departments (a function normally provided by the Purchasing Officer or Manager).
When You Only Have One Purchasing Staff Person
If you have only one purchasing person, that person should focus on the duties of the Purchasing Agent. That is, the purchasing staff person should be running around (or calling around) collecting information about vendors and from vendors.
This purchasing staff person can then hand the information off to someone else, a non-purchasing staff person, for recording, filing, and sharing.
Have a general admin assistant in the office back up the purchasing officer with the in-office purchasing tasks. This person can assist the Purchasing officer by:
These things can be done by the same person who is doing other non-purchasing duties in the office like keeping the travel schedule up to date and/or overseeing cooks and cleaners.
This set-up will require someone in the senior management (like the Emergency Team Leader) to supervise these people and make sure they are communicating properly with each other, and other departments (a function normally provided by the Purchasing Officer or Manager).